Saint Meinrad Archabbey Wetlands Reserve Program
In the spring of 2007, Saint Meinrad Archabbey converted about 375 acres of crop and pasture land into forest in cooperation with the Natural Resource Conservation Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, through its Wetlands Reserve Program.
The program seeks to sustain wetlands, especially for the sake of wildlife preservation, soil conservation and water purity, but also includes selective timber harvesting. More than 140,000 trees were planted on Archabbey land. The trees included black walnut, white oak, pecan, white pine and two dozen other species.
In 30-50 years, the Archabbey should benefit from timber sales. “It’s hard to see a downside to this project,” said Fr. Guy Mansini, OSB, the Archabbey’s forester. “Because of the government incentives and future economic productivity, this program constitutes wise stewardship of our land.